Shane Baker | Rubbish on my drive
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Rubbish on my drive

December 18, 2013  •  Leave a Comment
I think I started digging around in my Lightroom catalogue because I'd decided to make myself a "best of" photo book. (I did, by the way - and I thoroughly recommend it to any keen photographer. It was such a buzz to see the book.)

Anyway ... I started with star ratings, and then rediscovered that I'd never had a really consistent way of rating my work. In fact, most of my images have no rating whatsoever, meaning I would be thrown back on that least reliable device in my arsenal: my memory.


So started trawling through my images - and found in incredible amount of rubbish. Three, four or more copies of the same image in various formats and sizes; most of which is the legacy of my pre-Lightroom days

BLR (before Lightroom), I'd load my raw file onto my computer and open it in Photoshop. Then I'd tweak it a bit and because I wanted my "negative" file for the future, I'd save it as a TIF. TIFs have the advantage that they aren't lossey - but they're big.

I did an experiment, to demonstrate file sizes - based on a file from my 16.3 Meg Fuji X100s:

A 34 Meg raw file becomes a 64 Meg TIF to protect the data after processing - or I could have saved it as a .PSD file to allow for more processing, which would be the same size. Alternately, I can save space with a JPEG or one quality or another - but only by throwing away much of my data. Oddly enough, the smallest non-lossy format was Adobe's DNG format. Maybe there's a lesson in that.

But the point is that I did this for several years: creating TIF and JPEG versions of files - often with a smaller "web" version of the JPEG - and cluttering up my drives, and thoroughly confusing myself in the process.

Then Lightroom appeared - and I saw it was good.

Now, my workflow is to load the image files onto my computer using LR - which places it in my catalogue. I then always (and for once, "always" means always) keyword the images, and can process them.

Processing in this case means making adjustments which are stored by LR with my raw file at a cost of around 10k per file. The raw file remains pristine, and I can make virtual versions of any image, which allows me to have multiple versions of my images - at a cost of about 10k per version.

And because all these files are key worded - as well as having all their metadata - I can find a particular image in moments.

Yes, I'm a fan of LR and no, I don't get a spotter's fee from Adobe. In fact, due to their introducing their ridiculous subscription model for most of their products, Adobe's off my Christmas card list this year - but Lightroom is a great product.

As for my back catalogue, I find that 84% of the 29,500 images in LR have no rating - and most of the rest are rated in an idiosyncratic manner (to say the least!). So, if I rate 100 a day, say six days a week ... that will only take 11 months to complete.

What I really need is a 100% reliable script which will rate my images for me.

Christmas is coming up, so if Father Christmas and the Birthday Fairy work together, maybe I can have my wish.

Or ... I can suck it up and just do it ...

Season's greetings!



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